His meltdowns are calculable by the moon,
by his toothaches,
and by the migrations of wildebeests thousands of miles away.
The science of their prediction
obsesses the priestly caste
that feeds his delusions of grandeur with arcane obsequieousness,
secretly gloating even as his
engulf their own lives.
The most fortunate of men,
he takes no pleasure even in his
only in pulling back the promised prize.
"You don't respect me!" he cries,
seeing only the Reaper,
who truly does not.
If I have to live in this City of the Future they're buildingon top of the City of Now,
I swear I'll become like a monkey in the zoo,
flinging excrement at my keepers and
ever-ready to bite the hand that tries to feed me
under the guise of authenticity!
Humans are social animals, sure; so are chickens,
but neither is designed to live cooped up
with barely enough room to spread their wings!
The prevailing pave-every-parking-lot philosophy
makes even the run-down strip malls look spacious and pure.
Unless and until we actually get
the personal jetpacks once promised by the Future,
they can take these mini-apartments and
overwrought tourist fests and
grub that's more sculptural than edible
and just – save it, OK?
Save it until us old coots and biddies
who don't want to be connected with everyone we know all the time
die off naturally; can you do that?
Then the rest of you can bicycle to work next door to your squat,
where you'll do something prestidigital, get paid in virtual currency,
and groove on in that post-mod fantasy world
until all the zombie cows come home
and kick down the un-stable walls of Densetopia;
then burn, baby, burn!
Mariann Garner-Wizard is Texas writer and editor and a member of the Austin Poetry Society. She contributes regularly to The Rag Blog and to HerbClips and has authored or co-authored several books, including two self-published volumes of verse, "SIXTY" (w/ photography by Scout Stormcloud, Lulu, 2006) and "Didn't You Hear Me the First Time?" (Dharma Wizard on Lulu, 2013). Some of her performances in Austin's East by Southeast (ExSE) annual video poetry showcase are available on YouTube.